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1st commercial truck convoy enters Rafah since Israel gained control of Palestinian side of crossing

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published May 15,2024

Fifty-two commercial trucks arrived in the southern Gaza city of Rafah late Tuesday via the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Israel, Palestinian security sources told Anadolu.

The event marks the first time that trucks have entered the city since May 7, when the Israeli military took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

The sources, who requested anonymity, said the trucks, which were loaded with goods for the private sector, entered from Israel through the Kerem Shalom Crossing for the first time since the beginning of Israel's military operation in Rafah.

They said the trucks passed through the Kerem Shalom Crossing in the southeast of the enclave, traversed the border line separating the Gaza Strip and Egypt and reached the Tel al-Sultan neighborhood west of Rafah.

It is important to note that the trucks do not carry any aid, but rather goods belonging to Palestinian traders in the Gaza Strip, they added.

Last week, the Israeli army invaded the eastern section of Rafah and captured the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, a vital route for humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, which has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since last October, leaving the territory's entire population on the verge of starvation.

Nearly 35,180 Palestinians have been killed and over 79,000 others injured in a brutal Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas that killed nearly 1,200 people.

The group demands an end to Israel's military offensive on the Gaza Strip in return for any hostage swap with Tel Aviv.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). An interim ruling in January said it is "plausible" that Tel Aviv is committing genocide in Gaza, ordering it to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in the enclave.